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Hawaii men's hoops falls short at Long Beach

Jan. 19—The Hawaii basketball team's defensive lapse led to a first-half collapse in Thursday's 79-71 loss to Long Beach State in the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif.

The Beach seized control early, hitting 75% of their first-half shots while dominating the paint, en route to ending a two-game skid and improving to 12-7 overall and 4-3 in the Big West. The 'Bows fell to 10-8 and 2-4.

UH coach Eran Ganot said the Rainbow Warriors' offense was too stagnant and the defense too vulnerable in a 45-28 first half in which the Beach produced runs of 11-0 and 12-0.

"That's as bad as we've ever defended since I've been here," said Ganot, in his ninth season at the 'Bows' head coach. "We've been good defensively every year, half the time elite defensively."

But in the first five minutes, the Beach made tough shots the 'Bows wanted them to take. And then, according to Ganot, the Beach became "very comfortable. We were on our heels. We let them get whatever they wanted after they made some tough shots in the first eight, 10 minutes."

Ganot described the 'Bows' transition defense as "unacceptable."

Marcus Tsohonis, who did not play in Saturday's loss to UC Santa Barbara, returned to the Beach lineup and produced 20 points. Jadon Jones was perfect — 8-for-8 shooting, 3-for-3 on 3s — in contributing 19 points.

The 'Bows held the Beach without a field goal in the final 3 minutes, 40 seconds to cut the deficit to single digits. But the 'Bows did not make enough of their season-tying 38 3-point attempts. Justin McKoy hit six of the 'Bows' made 12 3-pointers and finished with 22 points. McKoy took only one shot in 14 minutes in the second half.

UH point guard JoVon McClanahan was assessed his third foul with 16:23 to play. McClanahan did not play the rest of the game as Juan Munoz gave the 'Bows a push with his passing, drives and outside shooting.

After being held to 32.3% shooting in the first half, the 'Bows hit 13 of 25 second-half shots to finish at 41.1% accuracy. Assists accompanied 19 of their 23 baskets.

"I appreciate the guys in the second half," Ganot said. "I thought the ball movement was great. But we put ourselves in too big a hole. This is the reality of the situation we currently have. We have to keep working and keep looking at different ways to break through."

Ganot said the 'Bows' inside-out offense created open looks from the perimeters. But Ganot said the 'Bows appear to be affected when good looks do not result in points.

"Disappointed," Ganot said. "Once you miss some off-ball movement, then the ball movement wasn't there. We were kind of playing catch-up. That's a whole process we have to keep working through."

Ganot added: "We're certainly a better shooting team than we've been. But they threw in a lot of zone. I think we got some kickouts from the 3 from inside-out. We don't want to be that kind of 3-point rate for our team. I thought it was a little better in the second half. I thought (centers) Mor (Seck) and Bernardo (da Silva) gave us a lift inside."

The Beach entered with a plus-5.4 rebounding advantage in Big West games, with Lassina Traore and Aboubacar Traore each averaging double-digit boards. The Beach out-rebounded the 'Bows 31-29. The 'Bows grabbed 11 rebounds but managed only five second-chance points.

UH continues its two-game road trip against UC San Diego on Saturday in La Jolla, Calif.

BIG WEST MEN

Conference Overall

W L Pct. GB W L

UC Irvine 6 0 1.000 — 13 5

UC Davis 6 1 .857 1/2 11 7

UC San Diego 5 1 .833 1 11 7

CS Northridge 4 2 .667 2 13 5

UCSB 4 3 .571 2 1/2 11 6

Long Beach St. 4 3 .571 2 1/2 12 7

Hawaii 2 4 .333 4 10 8

UC Riverside 2 5 . 286 4 1/2 7 12

CS Fullerton 1 5 .167 5 8 10

CSU Bakersfield 1 5 .167 5 6 11

Cal Poly 0 6 .000 6 4 14

Thursday

Long Beach State 79, Hawaii 71

UC Irvine 76, UC San Diego 65

UC Santa Barbara 97, CS Northridge 69

Cal State Bakersfield 80, UC Riverside 56

UC Davis 67, Cal State Fullerton 65

Saturday

Hawaii at UC San Diego, 2 p.m.

Cal State Fullerton at UC Santa Barbara

UC Irvine at UC Davis

CS Northridge at UC Riverside

Cal Poly at Cal State Bakersfield

LONG BEACH STATE 79, HAWAII 71

RAINBOW WARRIORS (10-8, 2-4)

MIN FG-A FT-A R A PF PTS

McKoy 29 7-12 2-2 2 1 2 22

da Silva 22 5-7 1-2 5 0 4 11

Coleman 32 2-7 1-2 0 5 0 6

McClanahan 14 0-2 0-0 1 3 3 0

Rapp 13 0-2 0-0 2 3 2 0

Munoz 26 3-10 4-4 3 2 0 12

Cotton 24 1-5 4-4 7 1 0 7

Seck 18 3-4 1-2 5 0 2 7

Jacobs 11 2-6 0-0 2 1 1 6

Beattie 11 0-1 0-0 0 3 0 0

TEAM 2

TOTALS 200 23-56 13-16 29 19 14 71

BEACH (12-7, 4-3)

MIN FG-A FT-A R A PF PTS

Tsohonis 33 8-15 4-5 3 4 2 20

Jones 32 8-8 0-0 2 4 3 19

L. Traore 32 5-12 3-4 6 1 3 13

A. Traore 27 4-6 2-3 8 7 2 11

George 33 1-4 0-0 6 5 1 2

Thompson 17 2-4 0-0 1 2 1 5

Hart Jr. 2 1-1 2-3 0 0 0 4

Polynice 10 1-1 0-0 1 0 0 3

Silva 10 1-2 0-0 1 0 0 2

Stroud 4 0-2 0-0 1 0 1 0

TEAM 2

TOTALS 200 31-55 11-15 31 23 13 79

Halftime — Long Beach State 45, Hawaii

28

3-point goals — Hawaii 12-38 (McKoy

6-11, Jacobs 2-5, Munoz 2-8, Cotton 1-4,

Coleman 1-6, Rapp 0-2, Beattie 0-1, McClanahan 0-1). Long Beach State 6-8

(Jones 3-3, Polynice 1-1, A. Traore 1-1,

Thompson 1-3). Steals — Hawaii 3 (Coleman, Cotton, Munoz). Long Beach State 8

(Jones 4, George, A. Traore, L. Traore, Tsohonis). Blocked shots — Hawaii none.

Long Beach State 1 (Polynice). Turnovers

— Hawaii 9 (Coleman 2, Cotton 2, Beattie,

Jacobs, McClanahan, McKoy, Seck). Long

Beach State 7 (Thompson 2, A. Traore 2,

George, Stroud, Team). Technical fouls —

none. Officials — John Paul Guerrero,

Deron White, Michael Reed. A — 1,835